Set deadline for SST payment

Lina Soo

KUCHING: The state has been urged to set a deadline for payment of the State Sales Tax (SST) by Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) and other oil companies operating in the state.

Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) president Lina Soo lamented the delay by the national oil corporation to settle the payment, which the latter agreed to in a joint media statement with Sarawak last month.

“There can be no further negotiation or any other terms or conditions to be attached to the payment of the five percent SST on petroleum products. Sarawakians will not tolerate any further delay on the matter,” she stressed.

Soo noted that Petronas’ application to stay the payment was rejected outright by the court, hence full payment must be made immediately. 

“If there is interest to be considered, it should only take a few days and not months to work out the final bill,” she said in a statement on Thursday.

Soo stressed the court was very clear on the matter and that Sarawak’s ownership and any other economic right over its oil and gas were separate issues to the state’s right to collect sales tax. 

She also urged the state government to expedite its pursuit for the payment from Petronas to stop certain quarters from turning it a political issue. “Sarawak has every right to impose sales tax on its petroleum products and to collect it in full. This should not be used as a political tool to hold Sarawak voters to ransom,” she said.